press trust od india
Lucknow, 26 Janaury
Top Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal ended her 15-month title drought by packing off compatriot and second seed P.V. Sindhu in the women’s singles final to win the $120,000 India Grand Prix Gold here Sunday.
The top seed, who last won a title at the Denmark Open Super Series Premier in October 2012, beat Sindhu 21-14, 21-17 in 40 minutes to take home a cheque of $9,000 at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here.
In the last match of the day, sixth seed Kidambi Srikanth gifted away an almost won contest to Chinese ninth seed Xue Song 21-16, 19-21, 13-21 in 38 minutes. The reigning national champion was a game and 19-12 ahead before Xue won the next nine points to force a decider.
There he completely outplayed the Indian.
Earlier, last year’s runner-up Sindhu once again had to be content with silver in her first ever official Badminton World Federation (BWF) match against Saina. The Olympic bronze medallist had defeated Sindhu twice during the Indian Badminton League (IBL) in August 2013.
The two Pullela Gopichand proteges entered the stadium to a rousing welcome from a packed house on Republic Day, a national holiday, which also had Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in attendance. World No.9 Saina got off the blocks quickly, taking a 5-0 lead to the delight of the vociferous crowd.